Electronic Text Creation
Since 1992, the Electronic Text Center has existed as a virtual space where patrons inside and outside the University can come to browse and search extensive collections of electronic texts. In that time, the Electronic Text Center has also maintained a physical space and walk-in public lab to serve faculty, students, and staff in the creation and analysis of electronic texts for instructional, research, and personal needs.
The staff at Etext can help users with text conversion needs:
Physical typescript to any text format (.doc, .rtf, .html, .xml, .txt, etc.) In the public lab, Etext maintains two types of scanners for different user needs. There are three Epson Perfection 4870 flatbed scanners that are used primarily for high quality image and bound book scanning. There are also two Fujitsu ScanPartner 15c scanners. These two scanners have automatic document feed (ADF) mechanisms for scanning looseleaf pages; in black and white, the Fujitsus are capable of scanning over 15 pages a minute. Using one of these scanners and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, a user can take a physical document and translate it into a word-processible text format.
Physical document to .pdf (portable document format) Using any of the scanners mentioned above, Etext also maintains current versions of Adobe Acrobat for creating document facsimiles for instructional and personal needs. [Note: Etext is not a substitute for Toolkit, the University's on-line course management system. All requests for articles and documents destined for a Toolkit page should be dropped off in the Toolkit box on the fourth floor of Alderman Library.]
eXtensible Markup (XML) Training
The Electronic Text Center has over a decade of experience in using markup applications to structure text for purposes of large-scale collection aggregation and discovery. Using Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) to encode texts in the early 1990s, at the end of the last decade, Etext shifted to the tighter syntax and more predictible structures imposed by XML. As an abundance of reliable and relatively cheap XML tools continue to appear, it is becoming more obvious how beneficial this move to XML is.
Each Etext staff member is well-trained in using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) XML application for describing the structure and content of humanities and social scientific content. “Teaching” a walk-in user XML is not something the Etext Center does on an ad hoc basis. The rules, syntax, and construction of XML are too complicated to benefit anyone in an informal training session. If, however, learning XML might suit your task or project, please contact Etext for guidance.